In the Resy Questionnaire, we play a game of 20 questions with the industry folks behind some of our favorite restaurants. What’s your most memorable restaurant experience? Your favorite food movie? What restaurant would you want to time-travel for?
In this edition, we spoke to Tomer Blechman, the executive chef and owner of Miss Ada, an Israeli-inspired Fort Greene haunt that’s got Brooklyn in mind.
The Resy Questionnaire
1. Favorite thing you’ve ever cooked?
Whole sweet potato on the fire at Pioneer Works. I like to cook everything inside the fire, with the smoke. Although it’s a traditional dish that we do at Miss Ada, we made it in a very rustic way at Pioneer Works, which was very different. I enjoyed preparing it this way.
2. Kitchen tool or equipment you couldn’t live without?
Joyce Chen scissors.
3. What pantry items would you bring on a desert island?
Chickpeas, black pepper, baharat, amba, and quinoa.
4. What’s your favorite place to get a slice in New York?
5. Favorite cookbook?
6. Your drink of choice?
7. Favorite food movie?
Not a movie, but “Chef’s Table.”
8. Your ideal dinner party guests, dead or alive?
Danny Meyer and Massimo Bottura.
9. What restaurant industry person do you admire the most and why?
Danny Meyer, because of his philosophy about hospitality, the kitchen, and the way he treats his employees. It’s something I carry with me, from working for and learning from him. I try to accomplish the same values in my restaurant.
10. The greatest restaurant experience of your life so far?
11. Your greatest professional achievement?
Opening my first restaurant, Miss Ada.
12. What single dish best describes your personality?
Branzino. Not too many seasonings, just rosemary, garlic, and lemon to give the fish the ability to stand out on its own.
13. If you could go back in time, which restaurant would you dine at?
Gray Kunz’s Café Gray, in 2004.
14. Your favorite meal from childhood?
Barbecue outside with my family, with kebabs and skewers.
15. Your wish for the restaurant industry?
That it will be less about the ego and more about community, and giving people and guests the hospitality that they deserve.
16. What do you wish you did better? What do you do well?
Wish I could be more detail-oriented and on top of everything at all times, but concentrating on what’s going on overall and not being too nit-picky is also something that I’m good at.
17. If you could eat through a city for a day, where would you go?
18. The one thing you can’t resist splurging on when you go out?
19. What do you value most in restaurants?
The time to be together with the people I love.
20. It’s your last meal on earth, what are you eating?
Spaghetti alle vongole.